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on how YOU turned out?? Did your parents encourage you to attend college and move into a professional field or was it your own idea?

 

Did they NOT encourage higher education and you went despite their wishes....OR, did they encourage higher education and you didn't go....or did they discourage you and you didn't go.

 

Are you happy with where you stand in life? Do you wish you had known HOW to move up in the world? Did your parents teach you how....or did you learn on your own?

 

Are better or worse off than your parents are /were??? Do you think your kids are going to be better off or worse off than you??

 

Just how much influence DO parents have in their children's future??

 

Faithe (Who is just curious about how others view this.)

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It's just not exactly the one they intended. My parents are decent, good, salt-of-the-earth people. They did not attend college and both live in the same area that generations of both families have been in. I got both college and graduate education and moved away. I know I broke my Mom's heart when I did this.

 

What they gave me is confidence, security, and a huge work ethic. I still believe that with those, much can be accomplished. We are still quite close. It's just not the closeness that my parents, my Mom in particular, hoped for.

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Not going to college was not an option. Besides insisting on higher ed (for which I am grateful), my father was very limiting on careers he thought were worth pursuing. I've never been happy in my professional life. I am worse off than my parents (not just in a financial sense--if it were just financially that wouldn't be an issue).

 

My dc are pretty much expected to go to college. I will not tell them what to study or what career to pursue, but they are expected to get a degree. I don't care if they study music or engineering or anthropology. I just want them to make their own choices for course of study and career. My dc know the only thing I expect is that they will finish an undergraduate degree. I will help to pay for much of it. They are expected to move on to independence after finishing college, but it doesn't matter if they work in a field directly related to their degree (many people do not).

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Going to college was expected. However, both my brothers bucked my parents on this and now regret it. I went to college but disappointed my mother by not choosing her alma mater even though I was accepted. She's 86 and just reminded me the other day of that fact. . . (in a joking way).

 

My parents influenced me to be a hard worker, to be frugal and to love God. They did not do a good job of explaining the "why's" behind their decisions and so it took me a while to figure some of those out for myself. My dad thinks that I talk to much to my kids about these things.:rolleyes:

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I had very little parenting. I was never encourage to do anything. I had know guidance or direction except religious

I am the first high school and college graduate in my family. It also in many ways separates me from my family.

I am called for money or help but usually don't here from them any other time.

My lifestyle, parenting and everything about my life is totally different than the way that I was raised. I thank the Lord that he gave me the ability and opportunity to not live my parents or sibling lives.

I will say my mom wanted better for me but she just had know understanding of what it would take. I did take from them a strong faith. I am grateful for that but as a teen it was more of chain around my neck than my own belief

I navigated college and life all on my own. I had absolutely no parental help

 

I am very much encouraging, guiding and showing my kids how to achieve dreams. I definitely parent my children where as my parents just "survived" the best they knew how

 

My parents both had PSTD(not diagnosed at the time) it was a crazy childhood. My siblings both have degrees of paranoia/ocd/etc. It just make for very bad financial and life decisions. I tried to parent them cause a lot of time my parents just didn't. Its just sad that my over 35yo siblings life are still unstable and my parent live a stable put very IMO depressing life

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My parents influenced me through example. They both have university degrees, are interested in literature, politics, art, music, read widely, exposed us to culture - we grew up in an atmosphere where learning was normal and attending a university expected and not even seen as optional.

Same in DH's family.

 

I don't know what you mean by "move up in the world". I don't think I have "moved up".

 

How do you define "worse off"/ "better off"? My parent's situation can not be compared with mine. My parents lived in a totalitarian system with no freedom, a uniformly lower standard of living, limited opportunities and choices. Through circumstances outside any of our control, that system crashed... and here I am, being able to live and work in a free country, have a standard of living higher than my parent's when they were my age, have more opportunities. This is largely the fault of political developments. My parents certainly equipped me with the skills needed to take advantage of these opportunities, by modeling hard work and education.

 

I don't know what my children will do. I am doing all I can to parent them with love, to equip them with the skills needed to succeed in the world. They will go to college. That's all I can forsee right now.

 

I think parents have limited influence. We can model and teach and love. It is tempting to take credit for our children's success... but it may be wrong. Because I know that some families who "did everything right" have produced children who make bad choices... not through their parent's fault. So, I think we can only do our best and hope, but we may or may not get the results we hope for - because our children have free will.

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on how YOU turned out?? Did your parents encourage you to attend college and move into a professional field or was it your own idea?

 

They didn't encourage me at all. College wasn't talked about. Nothing was. Both were professionals.

 

Did they NOT encourage higher education and you went despite their wishes....OR, did they encourage higher education and you didn't go....or did they discourage you and you didn't go.

 

They didn't encourage, and I didn't go.

 

Are you happy with where you stand in life? Do you wish you had known HOW to move up in the world? Did your parents teach you how....or did you learn on your own?

 

Yes, I'm happy. I know how to move up in the world, but it's from my own learning. I'm a hard worker, and I'd take two to three jobs when needed. I hustled. My kids get that from me.

 

Are better or worse off than your parents are /were??? Do you think your kids are going to be better off or worse off than you??

 

I'm MUCH better off than they are. My kids will be set. My oldest Dd has plans, with our encouragement, to open up a few local businesses when she's able. I'm sure it will be given seed $ from the BOD (Bank of Dad), just the way his parents gave him seed $ for his first businesses. the rest of them are free to choose what they like, and we're there to help.

 

Just how much influence DO parents have in their children's future??

 

Faithe (Who is just curious about how others view this.)

 

I am what I am and do what I do despite my parents, not because of them. THAT SAID, I would feel a failure as a person if my life were so dysfunctional that my children had to do the opposite of the way our life was. I agree with Imp, in spite of them, not because of them.

 

My Dh, on the other hand, gets his business sense from his dad.

Edited by justamouse
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on how YOU turned out?? Did your parents encourage you to attend college and move into a professional field or was it your own idea?

 

Did they NOT encourage higher education and you went despite their wishes....OR, did they encourage higher education and you didn't go....or did they discourage you and you didn't go.

 

Are you happy with where you stand in life? Do you wish you had known HOW to move up in the world? Did your parents teach you how....or did you learn on your own?

 

Are better or worse off than your parents are /were??? Do you think your kids are going to be better off or worse off than you??

 

Just how much influence DO parents have in their children's future??

 

Faithe (Who is just curious about how others view this.)

 

I don't equate going to college with "How I turned out." or "Being better off." or "how I stand in life."

 

Is this about money? I am poorer than my parents. My mom pushed me to college. I graduated but I don't work. She knew I probably wouldn't. I have always known I wanted to be a housewife. She thought it was ideal to marry an upper-middle class guy, but if I didn't that was okay. My husband doesn't make a whole lot of money.

 

I do not want my children to be rich. I don't care if they end up a little richer or poorer than I am.

 

"For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."

Timothy 6:7-8

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on how YOU turned out?? Did your parents encourage you to attend college and move into a professional field or was it your own idea?

They influenced me heavily but not always in a positive way. I am not really in a professional field per se, so i guess my idea. They don't think my career is good enough

 

Did they NOT encourage higher education and you went despite their wishes....OR, did they encourage higher education and you didn't go....or did they discourage you and you didn't go.

 

They encouraged it to a point and I went but not right out of highschool and not for a degree. They disagreed with my first program and told me often I was better off to have never gone to college in the first place. Funny thing is it is that program that has kept my family fed for the last decade since.

 

Are you happy with where you stand in life? Do you wish you had known HOW to move up in the world? Did your parents teach you how....or did you learn on your own?

 

Mostly I am happy with where I stand. I know how to move up in the world, what I wish is that my family taught me how to do so without sacrificing the family unit. They opted to focus on career and not their kids, I choose to focus on my kids and not the career kwim.

Are better or worse off than your parents are /were??? Do you think your kids are going to be better off or worse off than you??

 

Worse financially, better in many other ways. I hope that financially my kids will be better off than me. But it is hard to say. I encourage post secondary or a trade, But I would be doing fine financially if I was not divorced. If they marry and can make their marriage work, they should not face the issues I face financially even if all they do is flip burgers.

 

Just how much influence DO parents have in their children's future??

 

 

Parents have a great influence whether it is positive or negative. My parents had no faith in me, told me often how what I was doing wasn't good enough. To this day they tell me I should be putting work ahead of the kids in the sense of telling me to put them into school and daycare and get a fulltime job even knowing that would spell disaster for them given their particular special needs. I can count on 2 fingers how often my parents have told me they are proud of me since highschool. I graduated in 1995 to put that into perspective. My parents were not the type to believe a child could grow up to be anything or supporting the dreams of said child. If the dream didn't have a big pay cheque attached it or a certain level of prestige wasn't deemed worthy. Those things impacted me as negatively as their unwavering support in my goals would have impacted me positively.

 

Faithe (Who is just curious about how others view this.)

 

I strive to provide my kids with the skills to tackle their future with me right behind them cheering them on. If their dream is to make the best danged burgers McD's has ever served, and they are happy there I will support them and be proud of the hard work they do. If they want to go to college and get a degree etc I will be right there cheering and crying on convocation day. I tell my kids often that it doesn't matter what they do as long as it is legal and puts food on the table and roof over their heads and support their families. I don't care if they go onto college or not as long as they can do that.

 

 

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on how YOU turned out?? Did your parents encourage you to attend college and move into a professional field or was it your own idea?

 

Did they NOT encourage higher education and you went despite their wishes....OR, did they encourage higher education and you didn't go....or did they discourage you and you didn't go.

 

Are you happy with where you stand in life? Do you wish you had known HOW to move up in the world? Did your parents teach you how....or did you learn on your own?

 

Are better or worse off than your parents are /were??? Do you think your kids are going to be better off or worse off than you??

 

Just how much influence DO parents have in their children's future??

 

Faithe (Who is just curious about how others view this.)

 

Well, I don't consider myself all finished "turning out." In my twenties, their influence was pretty apparent. It is more like background static now.

 

My parents did not encourage college or employment for girls. They did not forbid it, but it appears that their preference was toward full-time SAHM for the girls, without college or careers to distract. I am going to college now, and so is one of my sisters. I do believe their tacit discouragement influenced us not to go that route at first.

 

My parents are money-avoiders. They never spoke a word about financial matters beyond a general view towards frugality and used goods. I consider it fortunate that I married a man whose parents are the opposite of money-avoiders. I adopted the money style of my MIL in my early twenties. My family is far better off financially than my parents were/are. I expect my children to be similar or better off than we are. My 12yo son shows great business sense and entrepreneurial spirit; he is so much like his father in that respect.

 

I am very happy with were I stand in life, but I am also not stagnant. I do not plan to get to a point where I'm all finished doing worthwhile things and now just want to sit and admire it. ;) I do wish that my parents had been more on-the-ball; they offered virtually no guidance about how to "do life". However, I also accept that I came to what I came to in the proper time. So, for example, though I get annoyed sometimes that I didn't get a college degree at the "normal" time, overall I think things happen as they should. So, I just accept it as it comes. If I had been in college when I was 19, I probably would not have met dh, for example. I do not argue with my past; it's better to accept its lessons.

 

I do think that ultimately, how my children "turn out" will be up to them to choose...and continue choosing. We are all a mosaic of our choices. Even when things happen that are outside of our control, we still have the choice of where we're going to take that experience. I do offer my children far more guidance about "doing life" than my parents did and I hope it will do some good in their lives. But in the end, their lives will reflect the choices they make.

 

So, there's my novella on the subject. :001_smile:

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Swellmomma, what a juxtaposition are posts are next to each other! It's interesting that parents who want their girls to be SAHMs could create as much negative energy as parents who want their girls to be big-paycheck career women!

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on how YOU turned out?? Did your parents encourage you to attend college and move into a professional field or was it your own idea?

 

College was not optional. Good grades were not optional. My dad highly encouraged me to go to business school (which I did) and would have been thrilled if I went to law school. (But I got married and pregnant instead.)

 

Are you happy with where you stand in life? Do you wish you had known HOW to move up in the world? Did your parents teach you how....or did you learn on your own?

 

I am glad I went to college although I was largely naive and ridiculous at the time and partied myself out of a lot of opportunities. I could have used some more strict requirements, like "You will get an internship this summer or I will not pay next semester's tuition, etc. Or more heart-to-hearts and practical examples of what "making it" in the world looks like."

 

Of course, if I hadn't been in the mood to party that one night, I would never have met dh.v:D

 

My parents did not teach me how to "move up" in the world beyond expecting college and good grades. They obviously valued education, but they passed that on to me in a one-dimensional way. I came out of their household with a good class rank, but a foolish outlook on life.

 

Do you think your kids are going to be better off or worse off than you??

 

I certainly hope my children will progress beyond us, that's a huge reason why I homeschool.

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on how YOU turned out?? Did your parents encourage you to attend college and move into a professional field or was it your own idea?

 

Did they NOT encourage higher education and you went despite their wishes....OR, did they encourage higher education and you didn't go....or did they discourage you and you didn't go.

 

Are you happy with where you stand in life? Do you wish you had known HOW to move up in the world? Did your parents teach you how....or did you learn on your own?

 

Are better or worse off than your parents are /were??? Do you think your kids are going to be better off or worse off than you??

 

Just how much influence DO parents have in their children's future??

 

Faithe (Who is just curious about how others view this.)

 

To answer your questions. I believe I about raised myself. My mom and dad divorced when I was about 10 yrs of age. Then remarried to a jerk of a man and was married to him for 8yrs.

I had two younger sisters and two younger brothers. My two younger sisters were able to get away and stay with my dad. I stayed with my mom because I loved her. There was no talk about the future, no talk about college. My life was pure survival. As the man my mom was married to was an abusive/mentally ill person.

 

I'll admit I made a couple of attempts to go to college when I was right out of high school but my father refused to sign any financial aid papers that I needed him to sign at the time. He grew up , and Old fashioned man. Women stay home , men go to work. Which is fine by me but it didn't get me anywhere in life. I've been trying to finish my teaching degree but its MUCH harder when having a family, with a child with health problems and having health problems of my own now.

 

Financially I am worse off than my parents. My husband lost his job and hasn't been able to find one for the past two years now. He just got a job at our church to do snow removal. How much that will be I haven't any idea. I'm sure it will be enough to get gas or whatever.

I wish I could work but my health just isn't very good right now, plus no one in their right mind would hire me knowing I have a child with health problems either. I have a friend who lost two jobs due to the fact her son had kidney problems. She always went into work, but when she had to leave or had to call off due to her son being sick the places were unkind and very uncaring. I would have to find a place where the boss would be understanding. Not to many of those around.

 

I pray to the dear Lord that my girls will be better off than me. We've made further education a very important thing, which is non negotiatable. I would love for them to be able to take care of themselves, and then if they get married and have a family to be home for their children. I pray that they won't ever have to struggle like we do. Its a horrible way to live.

 

I believe parents have a LOT of influence on the way their children end up. If you are there to encourage them, to give them the opportunity to do something. They will.

If you don't hold it as a priority in your life , neither will they.

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Going to college was simply expected. My mom was supportive in every way she could be. There was no pushing me in one direction or another. In many ways, I hope that I can do what she did for my my dc.

 

There was a lack of information. I was sheltered from all of the wrong things. My 20's were a rude awakening. I will not allow my kids to reach adulthood, making adult decisions, without the information needed to make those decisions.

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Thanks everyone. This is so interesting. I guess I am being introspective today....and trying to look into my crystal ball...sort of.

 

My oldest 2 girls....I sort of just assumed they would go to college. I begged and pleaded to go when I was a teen...and finally they let me go to community college, because I could get enough financial aid to pay for most of it. My brother...who was working since he was 14 and never graduated high school bought my books for me...

I graduated from there with a 4.0 and then wanted to go to a 4 yr university to finish. My parents were worried. They didn't want me to go into the city by train. The fact that I rode the train all the time...at night...by myself....to go party....made no difference. I ended up totally breaking down from the stress etc. and then dh and I got married....we had a baby coming.....

 

Dh's parents were divorced and never encouraged him beyond working in a factory or taking on a civil service job that didn't require a degree. They really were dysfunctional themselves...they did not believe in him. He struggled always to take care of us....and finally 6 years ago we were able to step up and begin our own business. He worked so hard for so many years and we are just now ( he is turning 50). Beginning to make a little money and come out from under our debt and decisions that were made as kids either by us or for us.

 

My parents never had any ambition to rise above their station in life. They were satisfied....maybe even happy....Neither one of them graduated high school. Dh's dad was a cop, just a hs diploma and his mom never graduated hs. His dad did ok financially....I guess, but not his mom.

 

Anyway, I see how worn out we are...and how hard we work just to get by....and it makes me wonder......how much influence did our parents have on our state in life....how much was our own crummy decisions when we were young and had no guidance from those who should have been there to drive us......and how I can help my own kids to move into their dreams without squashing their spirits, So they are not sitting online 30 years from now pondering their luck of the draw.

 

Fwiw, My brother never graduated high school. He opened his own auto mechanic shop about 25 years ago....it has been successful. He has about 6 guys working for him...About 10 years ago, He had an aneurism in his spine and is paralyzed from the chest down. That man is so driven. He had a car with hand controls made for him before he got out of the hospital and was back at work in 3 months. He amazes me! Imagine...what he could have accomplished if he was educated. He is probably dyslexic...but 40 years ago...he just got in trouble. Anyway, my parents did not push him to finish school....they did not have any idea how to deal with a special needs kid....and no ode a how to parent a kid(me), who was bored out of my mind in school because it was sooooooo easy.

 

I just don't want to let my kids down. And, as Joann said, I am also spending a huge amount of time trying to heal from my own childhood...and NOT allowing my kids to suffer from it.

 

~~Faithe

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on how YOU turned out?? Did your parents encourage you to attend college and move into a professional field or was it your own idea?

 

Did they NOT encourage higher education and you went despite their wishes....OR, did they encourage higher education and you didn't go....or did they discourage you and you didn't go.

 

Are you happy with where you stand in life? Do you wish you had known HOW to move up in the world? Did your parents teach you how....or did you learn on your own?

 

Are better or worse off than your parents are /were??? Do you think your kids are going to be better off or worse off than you??

 

Just how much influence DO parents have in their children's future??

 

Faithe (Who is just curious about how others view this.)

Great question!

 

I think I am who I am as mostly a counter-response to what I saw growing up. I had a brilliant Mom who never went to college, because she was raised by relatives and didn't want to ask for anything. Most wives and mothers stayed home after the War anyway. My Dad had the GI Bill but headaches from shrapnel (hit on Normandy above the right eye -the bullet came out his mouth and he lived!) prevented his higher education. Then some things went awry and I saw that I needed to prepare to take care of myself no matter what came. I found out how to get into college and figured out what I wanted to do and got my degrees.

 

I think your parents are a great help and my Mom was very encouraging (Dad died earlier) but somewhat fearful of me quitting my job to go to college. She later told me she was proud of me.

 

But it really comes from inside. External motivation has to be internal.

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Faithe,

 

Your oldest girls did go to college, right? (It looks like it in your signature.)

 

My parents never had any ambition to rise above their station in life. They were satisfied....maybe even happy....Neither one of them graduated high school. Dh's dad was a cop, just a hs diploma and his mom never graduated hs. His dad did ok financially....I guess, but not his mom.

 

Anyway, I see how worn out we are...and how hard we work just to get by....and it makes me wonder......how much influence did our parents have on our state in life....how much was our own crummy decisions when we were young and had no guidance from those who should have been there to drive us......and how I can help my own kids to move into their dreams without squashing their spirits, So they are not sitting online 30 years from now pondering their luck of the draw.

 

See, I don't think any of us (at least not past 20 or 21 years old) should ponder their luck of the draw. I own my life now, whatever my parents did or didn't do to help matters. Looking back, it is amazing to me that my parents had so little input into my life. They just didn't talk to me about anything. We never had little discussion about what work I'd like to do or what I thought made someone worth marrying or what I hoped for my future. It is sad that this is how they were, but what would be sadder would be if I just sat around reflecting on how ill-equipped they made me when I left the nest. Beyond then, it was up to me what I would do.

 

It's like the biblical story of the talents. The servant with only one talent griped and worried that he would not choose well, because he hadn't been given much to work with. So he did nothing with it. He was the one chastised by the master upon his return.

 

So, I think whatever our hand, we have to decide how we're going to use the cards. Maybe we got a crappy hand. It is still no less our responsibility to work with it.

 

This is the message I try to instill in my children - that they alone are responsible for their own lives. I can advise them until my face turns purple, but at the end of the day, they have to decide what their occupation is going to be and what lifestyle they will seek. Honestly, it's not all about college to me, either. They just have to know that they need marketable skills and I want them to be totally clear about what lifestyle limitations go along with what occupations. They can live in a tiny cabin or a 20-room mansion, it doesn't matter to me one bit; I just want whatever their situation is to be because they actively chose it, not just because they discovered themselves a 40-year-old gas station clerk, wondering why they didn't have more financial success.

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Ack, see I hope I'm not doing that. I try to be very open and honest with my kids, but compared with my upbringing their lives are pretty darn cushy. I don't want their adult lives to be a rude awakening.

 

But I do SEVERELY hope my kids go to college. I don't know that I'll go so far as to EXPECT it, but I am definitely pushing them in that direction.

 

I definitely pushed my older girls into college....the second one was kicking and screaming....but is thankful now. Even though she is not graduated yet, she has found out how strong and how smart she is. I am so proud of her. Oldest dd has a BA in Graphic Design.

 

I am PUSHING ds kicking and screaming through.....it has taken him 4 years to finish a 2 year degree without great grades....sigh. He has a full time job that he loves and makes ok money. He is 20 years old...supports himself....and lives in an apartment with 2 room mates. He loves being on his own and he is slllloooooowwwwwllllllyyyyy working on his degree because I keep bugging him not to quit. REALLY bugging him. Dh thinks I am crazy:D

 

My next son is officially still high school age. He is recovering from a terrible case of Lyme disease....so, he now has some learning issues he has to deal with. He is working with my husband....loving our business and can probably be very successful.....but I can not let go of college for him. I just can't. I will make it happen somehow.....:D

 

Anyway, Keep your stories coming. They inspire me.

 

Faithe

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He is working with my husband....loving our business and can probably be very successful.....but I can not let go of college for him. I just can't. I will make it happen somehow.....

 

But why do this? Is your husband's business a field he could participate in without a degree? This is the sort of place where I think let them make their own decisions. There is such a thing as successful business leaders who have no college degree. To me it just seems like throwing good money after bad if they do not want to go. I strongly encourage college degrees with my children. But I don't intend to push them kicking and screaming into it. Their future is not mine to determine - I give them as many tools as I can, but they have to decide how to use them.

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My parents were so toxic that I won't even comment further since the truth would sound unbelievable. They were clear that my brother was expected to go to college, but firmly believed that college for a girl was a waste of money. They were not college educated themselves though my father had turned down a full scholarship to a local private college in order to join the Air Force and escape from his own parents. I was offered a full scholarship to a private college myself and my parents turned it down. I'm not sure why.

 

Niether of my parents were ever supportive of anything I did and never offered any advice or encouragement. In fact, the only thing they had in common was the pleasure they both took in insulting, humiliating and despising their offspring. I survived them and escaped. My mother passed away when I was in my twenties and it was a great relief. I put myself through college while working and raising two children on my own.

 

I know that I am better off than my parents were, because my own happiness is not dependent on making other people feel bad. I've never had much interest in material success, just in security and simple living. My parents were working class and our neighborhood was working class, so we were just like everyone else we knew. People who lived different, more affluent lives just weren't real to us.

 

I think that in terms of material goods we have less than my parents did, even though Dh and I are are both 'educated'. The difference is that my dad worked in a job he didn't much care for because it paid well, and my Dh does work he loves and believes in even though it doesn't pay as well as other jobs he might have gotten with his education. Dh and I are happier. Maybe that comes from having choices, I don't know. My parents didn't have many choices.

 

I just want my kids to be happy, and I don't want their happiness to be dependent on material things. It's nice to have nice stuff, but it is a lot better to be doing work you believe in and enjoy and to have people in your life that really care about you. I want my kids to be educated, but not because I think that education means material success, but because I want my kids to be able to think and to entertain interesting thoughts and to value the life of the mind. I don't think that college is necessary, most of what I consider to be my 'education' didn't happen in college. For me college was just a set of hoops to jump through to get a credential that while useful in job hunting, is not especially meaningful.

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Oh gracious! The day I graduated from college, we were driving to my graduation party and my dad turned to me and asked, "So, where do you plan to go to grad school?" :tongue_smilie:

 

It was expected of me to go to college, to finish in four years, to attend grad school and to gain a career that could support me and possibly a family if necessary (Dad's argument was always, "You never know what the future will hold. Anything could happen and you need a career to fall back on.")

 

So, yes, they strongly influenced me. They also paid for my undergrad, for which I am very grateful.

 

Dawn

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My mother had a PROFOUND influence on me. She only had a high school education and 3 young children when my father began cheating on her.

 

She felt HELPLESS and TRAPPED. She couldn't leave him as she had no way to support all of us, no job skills, nothing.

 

I was raised hearing "you will go to college and get a degree so you NEVER have to depend on a man to support you" and I did.

 

It is quite liberating to know I do not have to put up with any nonsense from a man. I am with my dh because I want to be, not because I have to be and he can never take advantage of me because I would walk and I have the financial means to do so.

 

I love my mom!!!!

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Hard to know where to begin.

 

My mom 'ran the show' -- my dad was very kind, and I think he knew she was 'overbearing' but he never said anything.

 

For my mom, 'influence' = 'money.' I had to do exactly what she wanted me to do or funding was cut off - my freshman year at college, I broke up with a boy I had dated through high school. My mother was furious - her goal for me was to get married - PERIOD. I learned from a woman who used to be good friends with her (and is now very good friends with me) that despite my grandfather's wealth (really), the only goal they had set for my mom was that she get married - PERIOD. So, she did the same thing to me. Until I went back with that boy (and I did for awhile), she stopped putting money in my checking account and I depended on that as the college did not have a meal plan.

 

My dd31 and I were talking about it yesterday -- I told her that the entire time I was growing up (and I lacked nothing in the way of material goods, private schools, vacations, cars, etc) the one thing I made note of to myself constantly was that I would NEVER be to my children the way my mother was to me. In retrospect, she treated me the way she had been treated by her step-mother (my mother's mom died in childbirth with her).

 

Yes, I know. You can't make these things up.

 

My life is comfortable, I have beautiful children, but I lived in an abusive marriage to a terrible individual b/c my mother had planned a wedding and when I wanted to back out a few days before, I thought she was going to kill me.

 

I would have to say that I am a survivor. To be completely honest, I wish I could have a do-over.

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But why do this? Is your husband's business a field he could participate in without a degree? This is the sort of place where I think let them make their own decisions. There is such a thing as successful business leaders who have no college degree. To me it just seems like throwing good money after bad if they do not want to go. I strongly encourage college degrees with my children. But I don't intend to push them kicking and screaming into it. Their future is not mine to determine - I give them as many tools as I can, but they have to decide how to use them.

 

Yes, my son can make an excellent living...although he will have to physically work hard, which he likes. My dh works on mostly high end heating and a/c equipment, water treatment systems, generators etc. He also does air quality work. Ds is one of the youngest EPA certified people in our state. We encourage him to take as many trade classes as possible because the equipment keeps getting more and more technological. Heating is no longer throwing a few sticks in the stove....it is now mostly high efficiency, technical equipment and you better know what you are doing....or it won't work.

 

My ds loves this NOW.....but what about in 10 or 15 years from now....when he is 30ish....and never tried anything else?? I am insisting on his GED....and a letter of completion from the High School when he finishes......then what??

Trade school would be a waste of time. We know it because we take on a summer apprentice each year from the best one around here as an intern. They usually know NOTHING that applies to field work. NOTHING!!!! Ds can work rings around men twice his age. He has a mechanical aptitude that amazes dh and I....BUT.....shouldn't a kid like that become an engineer of some sort?! I know NOTHING about STEM careers. My son in law has a bachelors degree in physics, and has not been able to get a job. He has been graduated for 2 years....and NO JOB! He finally is going back to school for a masters in computer something or other.

 

Being the homeschool mom has its drawbacks in that you become guidance counseling as well.....and what if you are stumped. How much rides on your opinion.

 

And I am not so sure I believe that once you are 21 your life is your own and do with it what you will. Yes, you have a new set of choices and maybe some freedom....but ...to create a metaphor...

Some horses are thoroughbreds....some are work horses....some are circus ponies.....some are pets.....etc.

 

Take the thoroughbreds...they are trained for racing....

The horse who is cared for and trained, brushed and groomed, encouraged and fed well....will win more races than the one who is ill-cared for, given crummy food and has it's knees whacked before it gets to the gate.

 

I feel like I entered the race with my knees whacked! I am trying to raise thoroughbreds of the first class sort. Does that make sense? I would rather die during the race than give up....but my knees are still hobbled.

 

Faithe

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Hard to know where to begin.

 

My mom 'ran the show' -- my dad was very kind, and I think he knew she was 'overbearing' but he never said anything.

 

For my mom, 'influence' = 'money.' I had to do exactly what she wanted me to do or funding was cut off - my freshman year at college, I broke up with a boy I had dated through high school. My mother was furious - her goal for me was to get married - PERIOD. I learned from a woman who used to be good friends with her (and is now very good friends with me) that despite my grandfather's wealth (really), the only goal they had set for my mom was that she get married - PERIOD. So, she did the same thing to me. Until I went back with that boy (and I did for awhile), she stopped putting money in my checking account and I depended on that as the college did not have a meal plan.

 

My dd31 and I were talking about it yesterday -- I told her that the entire time I was growing up (and I lacked nothing in the way of material goods, private schools, vacations, cars, etc) the one thing I made note of to myself constantly was that I would NEVER be to my children the way my mother was to me. In retrospect, she treated me the way she had been treated by her step-mother (my mother's mom died in childbirth with her).

 

Yes, I know. You can't make these things up.

 

My life is comfortable, I have beautiful children, but I lived in an abusive marriage to a terrible individual b/c my mother had planned a wedding and when I wanted to back out a few days before, I thought she was going to kill me.

 

I would have to say that I am a survivor. To be completely honest, I wish I could have a do-over.

 

I know the feeling. Do-over sounds good to me. Unfortunately....those don't happen and I won't amuse myself with what ifs. I have done enough of that. What scares the snot out of me...is my kids looking back 20 or 30 years from now and wishing for a do over, and finding out that much of it is my fault.

sigh....

Faithe....who needs to go do mommy-ish things today instead of fretting over what the future holds. I guess I need to remember my faith....and believe it will all be ok......

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What scares the snot out of me...is my kids looking back 20 or 30 years from now and wishing for a do over, and finding out that much of it is my fault.

sigh....

Faithe....who needs to go do mommy-ish things today instead of fretting over what the future holds. I guess I need to remember my faith....and believe it will all be ok......

 

Sounds like you are taking all the right steps to be certain that doesn't happen -- my oldest girls (in their 30s) tell me frequently that they are amazed and thankful that I made it my objective NOT to parent as my mom did.:grouphug: I don't have the time or energy to spend more than a nanosecond once or twice in a millenium wishing for a do-over -- I don't think many people do. I just know that I was determined that I would NOT have any of my children wishing for one because of me.:grouphug:

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My parents figured HUGELY in how I turned out.

 

I began begging for piano lessons when I was three. My parents did not own a piano, but I'd heard my dad play the one at church (dad plays mostly by ear, however, he did get three years of piano lessons as a child). I was mesmerized. Though my parents did not have extra money, they managed to squeak out $400.00 and purchased a very nice, used upright for me. They thought I was too young for lessons, so I played around for 2.5 years until they decided that maybe the most experienced might be willing to take an almost six year old though her studio policy was that she preferred seven year olds because they move very quickly once they can read decently. She took me and my parents never looked back. There were so many times when it was really hard to write a check for those lessons or buy music, but they did it...faithfully for 12.5 years. When it was clear that I was going to be a virtuoso, my dad traded a heating system and it's installation (worth several thousand dollars of income to my folks) for a retired concert pianist's practice baby grand piano. The pianist was moving into a vacation home and decided that just possibly his house was overcrowded since he had the baby grand, a studio grand, and a full concert grand all in one music room! I will NEVER forget the day she was moved into our living room. The pianist provided four master class lessons for me. He was the kindest, gentlest soul of a competitive musician that I've ever met. My parents will always be my heroes for doing this for me.

 

I actually wanted to major in marine biology and not music despite having developed the talent to head to conservatory. My dad was the one that had a really serious talk with me about not squandering my talent. So we made a compromise; I would major in piano performance, but at a LAC with a banging music department and not conservatory. I just didn't feel I had the personal heart to take the competition of piano performance to that level since things are positively BRUTAL at conservatories. As it was, I was in for a very rude awakening because the LAC was not much better in that department. I'd call home, so overworked, overstressed, exhausted, wanting to quit...my parents always managed to lift my spirits and find a way to keep me going. It was not easy for them. The year that I left for school, my parents only cleared $17,000.00 in their business....yet my dad stood in that registration line and whipped out $300.00 to pay for my books (my scholarship did not cover books, lab fees, music, etc. just tuition, plus 50% of room and board). They stuck with me and made some pretty huge sacrifices in order to do so. At the time, the only other sibling still at home was FIVE. They did this while still raising a little one who they were sending to a private school. My worked as a teacher's aide for no salary - exchanged for sis's tuition.

 

Additionally, when I was being so badly bullied during the middle school years at our local ps., had stopped eating, suffered debilitating insomnia from it, etc. they took me out of there and placed me in a new private school that had just opened. They couldn't afford tuition. Anyone who looked at their finances could see this. They found a way to make it happen. After a few weeks, I started gaining weight and sleeping again. The school had an independent study program for gifted students and so I managed to graduate a month after I turned 16. Again, all because they were making tough choices and huge sacrifices on my behalf.

 

Yep, they aren't perfect. No set of parents are. But, my folks will always be my heroes!

 

Mom and dad will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this May. We threw a huge openhouse for them on their 40th. So, my brother, sister, and I are saving to send them on a lovely vacation to Boyne Mountain Resort. (My mom loves water slides and this place has an 88,000 sq. ft. indoor water park. Well, plus the amazing golf courses and trout streams that rock my father's world.)

 

Faith

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My parents both went to college but neither graduated. Growing up I had the impression that I was expected to go to college and my mom told me on several occasions that I "shouldn't be dependent on any man". When it came time to actually go to college my parents became very discouraging. They told me they weren't going to go into debt for my education and wouldn 't let me take out any loans either.

 

When all my friends went away to four year schools I became depressed because my parents were also pressuring me to get a job and move out...without any more than a high school diploma!?! Finally they agreed to pay for one year of CC. At the end of that year I got married, basically out of desperation because my parents weren't going to pay for school and wanted me out of the house.

 

I ended up completing another year of CC and then worked two jobs and helped put ex-h through school with the agreement that ex-h would help me through school after graduation.

 

We ended up divorcing shortly before he graduated. I worked at several more menial jobs before meeting dh. He has a good job and we are better off than my parents but I am completely dependent on him financially.

 

My parents did end up partly paying for my younger siblings' college and, to be honest, I am slightly bitter about it and I'd like to ask my parents WHY but it's one of those things that simply can't be discussed with them.

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Yup.....that is definitely one of my Mom goals......to NEVER have them look back and say WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME.? I spent way too much of my adult life dealing with that mess....I don't want my kids to spend one second on that!

 

Faithe

 

But you realize that we can do everything right (or at least the very best that a human parent can do) and they can still do that. Not because it's true. But because they are not taking responsibility for their own part in what happens from when you are an older teen on.

 

Each of us has both adversity and prosperity of some kind. I believe that it is because God uses both to mold us into what He wants for us. And what he wants for us can't fit on a standard resume. Virtue (ie. godly character including faith) matters. Virtue is what gets us through those times when all the best laid plans don't pan out. Virtue is what gets us through when people let us down.

 

Virtue doesn't come easily - at least it didn't for me. Our parents can give us a start by teaching us and modeling for us God's ways. But so much of virtue was learned by me through the school of hard knocks. And I take responsibility for how I responded to those knocks even though not all of those circumstances were of my making.

 

I want my dc to have options. So I am trying to give them the very best liberal arts education at home. I am trying to give them practical training in home repair, cooking and other skills, including in my son's case, all the computer geek training that he revels in. But I'm also discipling them in our shared faith because that is what is going to really matter once they leave my nest. I guess that I consider college at least partially out of the nest. I want my kids to have a 4 year degree because I agree that it opens up more options. But while I would verbally explain all that, I don't know that I would force it.

 

You asked how my parents influenced me. I responded earlier by talking about the virtues that they helped to model for me and to instill in me. What I didn't mention was the decision they made to put me into boarding school at age 11. My mom (almost 40 years later) still cries if you mention boarding school. It was a very bad place for me and for my siblings. But when they made that decision they didn't know that. What they knew was that they were giving us the opportunity to have a world class college prep education (I was bored in college) with tons of wonderful extra curriculars. And to be fair, the school part of that did all of that. It was just the boarding part which led to abuse, illness and adversity that I didn't have the maturity to handle at all. But I survived it and God used it for good.

 

College 3000 miles away from all support brought more adversity even as it provided me with wonderful opportunities. What I wish they had done was to walk through those things with me but due to distance and the lack of modern communication technology I was on my own. Perhaps I overcompensate (though I don't really believe that) but I'm making sure that with my own kids that I'm providing them with support and guidance and a road map all the way through. Hopefully they will continue to appreciate and use what I offer.

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yes there is influence. both parents suffered from depression. my father died when I was 12. My mother was also mentally ill. (and her mother was abusive)

 

there was definite negative influence from my mother, and downright discouragement on many educational/life fronts. the area's I feel I've "succeeded", were pure rebellion and opposition to her expressed views on my part.

 

eta: in dh's family a basic education is a bachelor's degree. (dh has a BA, BS, and a MBA. He dropped out of law school when he realized it was a very bad fit for him.) those attitudes are definitely being passed on to my children. even if my girls eventually become SAHM's, a college degree in a "real" subject is NOT a waste.

 

compounding my mother's negative influence, I had several learning disabilities in an era when any were rarely known about - and then it was still usually only boys.

Edited by gardenmom5
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My parents encouraged me. At 5, watching the media footage of the Carters moving into the White House (yes, I'm that old)... My father gave me a great talk about becoming whatever I chose, even president - if I worked hard. He gave me a sense that anything was possible. And that whatever I chose, he would accept it - even if it chose to stay home with kids (although he never mentioned that option, come to think of it). My parents worked very hard to make sure I could pursue my interests, to great expense (not just financial, I was in very competitive, time-consuming extracurriculars). College was a given, although I knew that it would not be handed to me on a platter. All of that influenced me heavily, and helped me overcome future issues.

 

As I became a young adult, there were other influences that discouraged college (think divorce, remarriages, different priorities)... It took me a few years to figure out *how* to put myself through school. And then I did it, on my own. And because no one had input into my degree - I chose a field I love, and graduated summa cum laude, happily.

 

Financially, I am not better off than my parents', but we are more comfortable than many, and we are secure, stable, and in a good place financially.

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I think this is a very complex question. At 45 I'm still debating in my mind what did and didn't come from my parents, and to the extent it did, how much was genetic and how much example.

 

My parents are intelligent, had good intentions and sacrificed a lot for their 6 kids. My dad quit high school at 15 (severely dyslexic) and my mom at 16 (independent and not from a supportive home). Nevertheless, my mom always had high expectations of us kids, including college. She saw us all as pretty intelligent and let us know this, yet my dad's influence as a very humble person kept us grounded. We didn't have much, but my parents' highest priorities were to provide us with a "good enough" lifestyle (never hungry, owned a home), and to get us a good basic education (parochial school, lots of books). My parents always worked and taught us a work ethic. They attempted to teach us to value honesty. They believe in commitment as evidenced by their 50th anniversary that they just celebrated.

 

We came out all across the board, sort of. All 6 of us went to college sooner or later, 5 have a bachelor's, 2 have a master's or higher. All own a (more or less humble) home. Of the 4 who have kids, all are pretty good parents. Most of us are NOT good with money. Half of us are married, half single, none divorced (so far). Nobody's ever been to jail (that I know of). Most of us have been continuously employed since our 20s at least, with one exception. We are all still close as a family and our kids are doing relatively well.

 

I think it's our parents' influence that makes each of us (a) continuously strive to do our best, (b) prioritize family, and © stay down-to-earth. But, none of us is really like our parents in the material sense.

 

Had I been born with different parents, I still think I would have had the instincts to be maternal, introverted, and a high achiever.

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Faith,

Your story gave me goose bumps. I want to be that kind of parent. So does dh. We try. I know how hard it is to get kids through college.....we are doing that now and we also still have young ones. Your parents are such special people!!

 

I hope they have an awesome 50 th anniversary!

 

 

Faithe

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Thank you all for sharing. I am being very introspective this weekend....probably because my adult kids were home....and here I am looking at these teenagers and little guys and full grown kids .....and trying to figure out how we all got here...and if I have the fortitude to keep at it....and how much our influence has on our kids lives as they grow up.

 

I think we put a strong work ethic into our older kids. They know how to go after what they want and work hard for it. No one is on drugs...no one in jail....but that is because of their choices.

 

My boys are respectful...my girls are super independent....almost too much:D

 

I still have another 10 or so years to go raising kids......and I do tend to super analyze everything.

 

 

So....keep your stories coming. I am loving them.

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My parents and step-dad didn't go to college. They all learned marketable skills: secretarial skills, electronics skills, and an apprenticed printer. They have all lived debt free all their lives except for mortgages they paid off in less than 30 years.

 

My mother encouraged us to go to college or learn a trade. She did point out that it's a scam to invest in a degree with little earning potential. I got married at 20 to my then 26 year old husband, a computer programmer, and started a family. (Good thing too. With fertility issues, starting late would have meant fewer children in my life-a horrific tragedy.) We've been happily married for 18 years.

 

My 3 brothers all married women with degrees (teaching, accounting, and social work) and my brothers are all skilled labor (licensed electrician, machinist at an Intel factory, and a computer tech.) They all helped pay off their wives' educations and supported two of them thorugh school because none of my SILs have enough earning potential to pay it off themselves and still support themselves.

 

My SIL who graduated with a degree in social work earlier this year didn't bother to look into whether or not social workers are in demand right now-they're not. She's got $50,000 in debt and is working at Target.com. One hasn't been able to find steady full time accounting work in the 8 years she's been with my brother. The other is a 1st grade teacher with ESL certification and doesn't make much in income but the benefits are pretty good.

 

My husband's sister got a degree in marketing. She's never worked full time except as a cashier at a grocery store for a while. She works part time in a mega-church office as a secretary. Her husband had to help pay off her loans and her parents provided free daycare to their kids from birth until school age.

 

I think our culture checks it's collective brain at the door about college. While it makes perfect sense for a lot of people, it doesn't make sense for others. It's almost heresy to some people if you suggest that some might be better off learning a trade skill. They clearly have sobbish attitudes-and get married before 25 and start a family!?!??! They react to that the same way as if you suggested not teaching girls to read. Then they assume that because they chose a man badly at that age it's not possible any 20 year old could possibly choose a good man.

 

I don't think any parent should pay for college or trade school for their kids. I think kids should work their way through in addition to being responsible for their own student loans (if they opt to take out loans) and getting scholarships.

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But you realize that we can do everything right (or at least the very best that a human parent can do) and they can still do that. Not because it's true. But because they are not taking responsibility for their own part in what happens from when you are an older teen on.

 

:iagree: Exactly, Jean. This is what I meant to say.

 

This is why I wouldn't drag a kid to college if that isn't where they want to go. Support, encourage, advise - yes. But attempt to force them to follow the specific path I think is best? No. The point comes when their life is their own. I hope to have given them the best tools I know how, but what they do with the tools is ultimately up to them.

 

When I was around 20, I went through a period that was like grief - grief for the not having had the family I wished I had. I sobbed and cried and complained about how my parents never did this or that and don't do this and that. Then, I got over it. I learned (it was because of Stephen Covey's book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) that what I did now was up to myself. I am so happy I learned that lesson. :001_smile:

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I was raised by a tired single mother who just "wanted me to be happy". She didn't encourage me to do any particular thing. She did however discourage me from the career I wanted. I ended up floundering in college because I had no idea what I ought to do. While in college, I met my dh and we married young. He wanted me to stay home with our children so that ended the college issue. I wish my mom had directed me somewhere...anywhere...but I got nothing out of her. I do hope that I can change that with my kids by giving them ideas about college degrees/paths in life that they might be interested in pursuing.

 

eta: I plan to go back to college and get the degree I always wanted but that's a few years off still. When my sister found out mom discouraged me from this career, she was appalled!

Edited by Alenee
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My parents and step-dad didn't go to college. They all learned marketable skills: secretarial skills, electronics skills, and an apprenticed printer. They have all lived debt free all their lives except for mortgages they paid off in less than 30 years.

 

My mother encouraged us to go to college or learn a trade. She did point out that it's a scam to invest in a degree with little earning potential. I got married at 20 to my then 26 year old husband, a computer programmer, and started a family. (Good thing too. With fertility issues, starting late would have meant fewer children in my life-a horrific tragedy.) We've been happily married for 18 years.

 

My 3 brothers all married women with degrees (teaching, accounting, and social work) and my brothers are all skilled labor (licensed electrician, machinist at an Intel factory, and a computer tech.) They all helped pay off their wives' educations and supported two of them thorugh school because none of my SILs have enough earning potential to pay it off themselves and still support themselves.

 

My SIL who graduated with a degree in social work earlier this year didn't bother to look into whether or not social workers are in demand right now-they're not. She's got $50,000 in debt and is working at Target.com. One hasn't been able to find steady full time accounting work in the 8 years she's been with my brother. The other is a 1st grade teacher with ESL certification and doesn't make much in income but the benefits are pretty good.

 

My husband's sister got a degree in marketing. She's never worked full time except as a cashier at a grocery store for a while. She works part time in a mega-church office as a secretary. Her husband had to help pay off her loans and her parents provided free daycare to their kids from birth until school age.

 

I think our culture checks it's collective brain at the door about college. While it makes perfect sense for a lot of people, it doesn't make sense for others. It's almost heresy to some people if you suggest that some might be better off learning a trade skill. They clearly have sobbish attitudes-and get married before 25 and start a family!?!??! They react to that the same way as if you suggested not teaching girls to read. Then they assume that because they chose a man badly at that age it's not possible any 20 year old could possibly choose a good man.

 

I don't think any parent should pay for college or trade school for their kids. I think kids should work their way through in addition to being responsible for their own student loans (if they opt to take out loans) and getting scholarships.

 

So, would you say that it is the person themselves that is marketable?? IOW, my kids have never had trouble finding a job. Ever. They have been offered jobs often...even doing work they had no experience doing. My 2 nd dd got a job waitressing at a pretty upscale restaurant. It helps pay her bills while she is in school. She is madly independent....and doesn't want to ask us for money while she is in school. Anyway, she filled in for a few weeks this summer for her friend at this job...and they begged her to stay....why? If no one was in the restaurant, she would pick up a broom and sweep...or wash tables...fill salt shakers etc. They never had to ask her....she just does what has to be done. She is studying nutrition. She is scared to death that the field will not need so many RD's.....I say...get the certification. YOU will get a job.

I also got married and had kids very young. I have an AAS in accounting...which was marketable 30 years ago...lol. I was able to get a job in an office as a book keeper....at pretty good pay from the start. I have always worked as a book keeper....it is a great skill to have and you can work from home. I bartered book keeping for nursery school.....I now work for my dh.....

 

I guess I want more for my kids. They are paying for their own educations....and maybe that is best....but, they pay because I can't afford to. If I had the money...I would give it to them if they worked hard. I helped my dd's as much as I could.....and encourage them to always do their best.

 

Anyway...do you think your kids will be better of learning a trade over college, or in addition to college. For example, both of my boys have worked with their dad to learn hvac and plumbing...some electrical work etc. My girls both worked during high school. One is an accomplished artist and gave art lessons to home schooled kids and taught at a summer camp. The other is a swim instructor/ lifeguard. And she worked as an assistant park director. She would be able to work teaching swimming and make a pretty good wage. My son is actually doing that....teaching swimming....and is able to pay his rent and tuition etc.

 

I think I want them to have an education at the college level for more reasons than hireability or career placement. I am sure it will help....but I also want them to be able to have a higher level of thought. Oh, I am not expressing this correctly. I guess I don't want their lives to be so frantic in taking care of their kids and homes, staying out of the poorhouse, like ours have been that they can find a place of peace....where they can work hard, yet still have time for beauty.....still have time to be creative and thoughtful....ponder the deep things of life....

 

Boy...I must be hormonal or something:D:D

 

Dh and I are just so tired....I am praying my kids don't have to be like this....

 

Faithe

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I was raised by a tired single mother who just "wanted me to be happy". She didn't encourage me to do any particular thing. She did however discourage me from the career I wanted. I ended up floundering in college because I had no idea what I ought to do. While in college, I met my dh and we married young. He wanted me to stay home with our children so that ended the college issue. I wish my mom had directed me somewhere...anywhere...but I got nothing out of her. I do hope that I can change that with my kids by giving them ideas about college degrees/paths in life that they might be interested in pursuing.

 

eta: I plan to go back to college and get the degree I always wanted but that's a few years off still. When my sister found out mom discouraged me from this career, she was appalled!

 

So, what is this career??

:bigear:

 

I think my parents tried to encourage me...and I know they were very proud when I graduated from CC...however, they were not great at pushing. They wanted us to be happy, but had no vision of what we COULD be. My cousins all went to school and became doctors, nurses and one became a successful investigative journalist. My brother and I had no vision of who we COULD be...so, we didn't know what avenues to pursue. My dh had the same type of parents. We were loved....but not guided in any direction...or taught, or disciplined at all. Happy is not all it is cracked up to be if there is no direction or it is based on faulty assumptions. They did allow me to have flute lessons when I begged....but they also let me quit with the first complaint.

 

I am not blaming....these are just observances. I know they tried their hardest...but they didn't have much ambitions for their own lives. I think they were happy the way they were....and maybe that is better:confused::confused:

I am not so sure though.....

 

Faithe

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My parents greatly influenced me. They were both WWII heroes in my mind. My father was an official hero with medals but I thought what he did before the battle that gave him the medals was heroic. He walked many miles and went back to a dangerous situation to get his father's heart medication. My mother was also an unofficial hero. When she was 16, the Russians invaded. Her parents decided to try to see if they could get some children out. My mother, being the oldest, was supposed to escape with her youngest brother. They were caught and brought back to their home. Her father slapped her and she made off like she was a naughty teen and just running away from home because of teen issues. This saved her little brother from the Soviet gulag. Both she and my father were in Soviet concentration camps until US and Britain insisted on the release of all Polish prisoners as a condition of helping the USSR in their new efforts against Nazi Germany. Then they eventually both joined the Army and my father won medals for his heroic actions in Italy.

 

Other ways they influenced me- they either gave me a lot of interests or nurtured the ones I had. Every year, we would go on a vacation- usually to a state park. I have also taken my children on vacations, and many to state parks or national parks. They always had classical music playing at home and all my kids still love classical music. My dad would watch many suspense movies and tv shows and I still watch suspenseful movies and tv shows and so do my kids. My parents encouraged my interests in bird watching and gardening and all three of my children continue with these interests. My parents went to universities and encouraged us children to go too. They were Christians and I am too. My father was very musically inclined and also had talents in inventing though he was a writer. None of those talents came to me but my middle is very musical and my youngest is talented mechanically. My middle is also a good writer. My father wrote a philosophical text and then my oldest decided to pursue philosophy as a major. It is very sad for me that my father died when I was 13 and my mom when I was 23. Neither ever saw any of my kids.

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My parents were very well-educated, but hardly ever discussed that fact itself. Education was one of those "goes without saying" things - and that was true not only for my parents, but for my extended family as well. More than discussed, it was something that was simply lived. I learned a lot from my parents simply by growing up around them.

 

On the other hand, I was shockingly independent as to my formal academic work. They never did my homework with me nor showed particular interest in my formal schooling, although doing reasonably well at school was also one of those "goes without saying" things. I do not recall discussing school much with them. What they focused on were more informal things.

 

I was a very independent child. I am not sure how much of that is personality and how much of that was careful upbringing to make me become so, but it in any case, I was free range quite early, traveled alone a lot quite early, and by the time I was in mid high school, I was pretty much treated with due respect as though I was a third adult in the house and allowed to make most of my life decisions for myself and they were tacitly okay with many of my youth antics (which involved cutting school A LOT, evening going outs sometimes on school nights, etc.). I was a good kid, but sometimes even I wonder how come they had THAT much trust in me to pretty much completely let me go by 16-17, to draw the line and say, this is your life now and your choices.

 

University was also one of the "goes without saying", but I do not recall much discussion there either. I informed myself of my options and then informed my parents of what was my choice. They asked me the courtesy of listening to their counter-arguments ONCE. I did. I still chose what I chose. As time went by they figured out I had made the best choice for myself even if I opted not to go to some other fields they thought more profitable or suitable. Then I went to grad school (which was also a "goes without saying" if you were good at your field and capable of learning more).

 

They supported me financially all along. I believe this was an incredible gift. They really believed that learning comes first and that it is a parental responsibility to allow the child focus only on learning when they are in the stage of life when that is the primary thing (i.e. as long as the child is schooled). I never had to worry about finances. I had my first working experience at 19-20 years old, and even that was more of a fun, tied to studies, during a break. I literally did not work until I started working academically at some point. No part time jobs, no summer jobs, no nothing. I spent my breaks traveling both in school and university. We also traveled a lot as a family and even had extended stays abroad.

 

My parents pretty much had a philosophy that you "get" a child rather than "make" one, i.e. they were in the nature camp more than in the nurture camp. Ultimately, they believed I had my path in life, which may or may not coincide with theirs, and that their role was to give me a head start in terms of good education and nice, emotionally healthy childhood. They were on the lenient side, as long as I did not cause trouble, endangered myself or others, and as long as I was independent. There was not much open "parenting" in the air. At some point my mother even told me that she does not really presume to "raise" anybody, that it is impossible to do so, that ultimately who I am going to be is up to me and nobody else. This does not mean that I could do literally what I wanted or that there were no tacit rules and boundaries, but they were quite tacit, quite invisible, quite non-invasive.

 

Looking back at my childhood, I have no idea whether I should consider myself extremely lucky (for having survived that level of freedom and for having had a character strong enough not to abuse it) or should I consider my parents extremely wise people who knew what they were doing, even if it may seem completely crazy. When I was younger I used to attribute it mostly to luck, swearing that I would never make my children dependent on luck, but the older they get and the older I get, I am coming to some shocking realizations in terms of their wisdom behind that approach and I see myself becoming more and more like them in some aspects.

 

I think they were excellent parents, for the most part, though we had quite an atypical relationship. From a very early age I felt rather equal to them, rather than being "parented".

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